CROSS LANES, W.Va. — Early … but not often.
The Point Pleasant boys soccer team struck first, but host Cross Lanes Christian answered with four unanswered goals en route to a 4-1 decision Monday night during a non-conference contest in Kanawha County.
The visiting Black Knights (5-2) started the scoring 12 minutes into the first half as Cole Walker planted a free kick from 40 yards out. The boot fell perfectly into the top left corner of the net, allowing PPHS to secure a 1-0 edge.
Unfortunately for the Red and Black, the rest of the night belonged to the Warriors (8-1) as the hosts received a goal from Austin Guthrie on a rebound of corner kick. Guthrie’s goal came at the 30-minute mark, allowing both teams to enter the intermission tied at one.
The score remained that way until the 48th minute as Michell Rohr netted a pass from Ben Greear, giving CLCS a permanent lead at 2-1.
Greear assisted on a goal by Casey Legg in the 58th minute for a 3-1 edge, then Rohr assisted Tyler Burdette on the final goal in the 89th minute to wrap up the 4-1 outcome.
Cross Lanes Christian outshot the Black Knights by a 24-10 overall margin, including a 12-6 edge in shots on goal. CLCS took seven of the 12 corner kicks and was also whistled for 12 of the 17 fouls in the contest.
Despite the loss to a quality program, PPHS coach Chip Wood was pleased with what he saw from his troops over the course of 80 minutes.
“We played extremely hard tonight. The match was very physical and both teams were fighting for possessions,” Wood said. “We got pushed back into our third a little in the first half and we started to play a little more direct down the field to relieve the pressure. That opened up the field a little, but they were extremely talented and quick in the midfield.
“Their pace of play was superior to ours, but we had a lot of good moments. The effort was outstanding and the physicality was excellent. We just have to learn to play with a purpose at a greater pace of play.”
Zach Rediger stopped eight shots in net for Point Pleasant. Micah Riley stopped five shots for the hosts in the triumph.
The Black Knights host Huntington Saint Joseph on Tuesday and will also host Gallia Academy on Thursday. Both matches are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.